By Przemek Garczarczyk
“I don’t really care that I’m not looking like some super-athlete. I know how hard I work. This is not a bodybuilding competition – this is boxing, winning fights, giving people a show that counts. I don’t have to look like Rambo to knock people out,” says IBF #6, WBA #8 ranked heavyweight Adam Kownacki.
Kownacki (18-0, 14 KOs) spoke with Fightnews.com® about his upcoming bout with Gerald Washington (19-2, 12 KOs) taking place January 26 on FOX. He also talks about fighting Ołeksandr Usyk (“why not?”), future plans and a long friendship but fairly new advisor deal with Keith Connelly.
Adam, before we start talking about boxing, did you try a traditional Polish Christmas dinner?
First we celebrated dinner at my brother’s house, then at my wife Justyna’s parents place. It was fun, 40 people or so, most of them from Kownacki family. Food? When you’re heavyweight, you can eat, still enough time to the Gerald Washington bout. I’m around 255 today, maybe around 250 planned for January 26. Working hard, lots of running – everything is even ahead of schedule. There’s no point to starve myself. Whatever we are doing with my trainer, it’s working, look at the fights. A lot of fighters are losing weight just to lose weight and you see what happens next. I feel great with my pounds.
Do you even have conversations about that with your trainer? Or he’s more interested in keeping your unreal energy, punch output when you step between the ropes?
Of course, isn’t this what counts? I read at Compubox that I had like 80 punches a round in last fight vs. Charles Martin. I don’t really care that I’m not looking like some super-athlete. I know how hard I work. This is not a bodybuilding competition – this is boxing, winning fights, giving people a show that counts. I don’t have to look like Rambo to knock people out.
Gerald Washington is next, and according to your words, another fighter to bring you closer to a championship bout.
Gerald already fought Deontay Wilder and looked good until Wilder connected with one of his big punches. Now it’s my time to test myself against a fighter of Washington’s skills. Wilder, Big Baby Miller stopped him, I want to do the same. Washington defeated all the… let’s say OK but nothing special fighters he fought. Never a really good opponent. Let’s find out in which group I could be classified. Tall, strong, looks like all current world champions.
Keith Connolly, your manager since April 2018, is considered one of the best of the new wave of boxing agents. And he likes to keep things under wraps.
I’ve known Keith for many, many years – since my amateur times. We had dinner – Keith, me, my trainer Keith Trimble and I liked what Connolly was saying. No BS, good plan, we had a deal. We work together closely, so at least once a week we have a meeting, even when nothing special is going on. During negotiations – at least 3-4 time a week. He added a lot to Team Kownacki, financially and because of his connections. He knows the boxing market very well and proved in 2018 to be the best – with all his fighters getting paid, getting a chance to fight for championships.
It’s 2019 – you are ranked IBF #6, WBA #8. Was that the plan when 2018 started?
Not really… I want to be a world champion. I’m still building myself to be in that position. A year ago I was ranked #10 by the WBA and wasn’t ranked by the IBF. It’s better. I’m expecting Anthony Joshua to fight Dillian Whyte in April…but I don’t want to just sit down and wait to see what will happen next. I want to fight, want experience. I fought better opposition than many of my colleagues who already fought for the belt. I beat Szpilka, Kiladze, Martin – former champs or title contenders. Not some taxi drivers – tough fighters, tough tests.
Eddie Hearn did mention your name when talking about possible bout for consensus Fighter of the Year – Ołeksandr Usyk.
Why not? I’m not afraid. Right now it’s just talk, nothing serious is happening. Usyk is vulnerable when under pressure. You could see that against Tony Bellew, earlier when he fought Mairis Briedis. Fantastic cardio, but less than fantastic defense. This is what boxing should be – testing yourself against the best.